This page contains the following information about the appeal to return ‘No. 6’ to steam.

A separate page contains the following information about the locomotive itself.

Current Progress of the Project

The overhaul of No. 6 (Hawthorn Leslie 3860) has become a very major project.  Perhaps not as major as those overhauls that have involved constructing complete new locomotive boilers, but it is not far behind them in size and cost, which is partly why there was such a long delay before it was even started. 

As explained in the separate page that describes the history of the locomotive, the overhaul of the chassis was a substantial piece of work, as it involved stripping it down almost completely, and even replacing some of the rivets that held the frame plates together.  Beyond that, we have never previously had to do any work on a boiler that involved replacing parts of the platework.

For the boiler work we have done as much ourselves as we are able to do, by removing the corroded sections from both sides of the firebox wrapper plate, and taking the tubes out of the boiler, leaving it as shown in the pictures below.  But the rest is going to require large amounts of money, which is why we need to raise funds to enable us to complete the work. 

boiler of No. 6

boiler of No. 6, showing the removed firebox plate

boiler of No. 6, showing the front tubeplate

What Needs to be Done

From this point on, the boiler will have to be sent away so that all of the remaining repairs to the boiler can be done by skilled boilermakers, and their work is not cheap.  When the repaired boiler is returned to us then some work will be needed to finish assembling the locomotive, and this will involve some costs, as well as volunteer effort.

Hence, the current conservative estimate is that completing the overhaul will probably cost about £60,000.  This is far more than we are able to budget for locomotive repairs as part of our normal operation, which is why we have started an appeal for funds to enable us to return No. 6 to steam. 

Specifically, our aim in this appeal is to raise this sum in time to have the locomotive back in steam for 2020, when it will be 85 years old.  We look forward to seeing it running again as it was in the picture below (taken in 1971, when the motorway was still under construction) - will you help us to achieve this?

No. 6 on a passenger train in 1971

[Picture from the MRT Photo Archive, taken by Ian Smith]

How You Can Help

You can help us either by buying one or more  of the parts that will be needed, or by contributing to the cost of the work involved in doing the repairs.  For instance:

  • £2.50 will buy us one of the many rivets that will be needed for fitting the new firebox plates;
  • £20 will buy us a new stay for the firebox (and we need 153 of them);
  • £25 will buy us a new tube for the boiler (and we need 170 of them);
  • £40 will cover the cost of installing one of the new stays in the fire box;
  • £45 will cover the cost of installing one of the new tubes in the boiler;
  • bigger sums than this will help contribute to the specialist work required to replace the fire box side plates.

If you wish to help like this, then there are four ways in which you can do so:

  • online;
  • in person at our shop;
  • via our donation form;  or
  • by telephone.

Details of these are as follows.

Online donations are handled for us by PayPal:  please click the button below to go to their page for donations to us.

In person at our shop: more information about the appeal is available in the shop, and our shop staff will be happy to help you with the details.

Via our donation form:  this can be accessed by clicking here (and will open in a new browser tab or window).  When you have completed this, then please return it to us either in person, or by post to:  The Station, Moor Road, Hunslet, Leeds, LS10 2JQ.

By telephone:  we can take the details by telephone (0113 271 0320), and can accept payment by credit or debit card.  (We accept most payment cards, except American Express & Diners Card, but only for payments of more than £5.)

Gift Aid.  In addition, if you are a taxpayer, then you can use Gift Aid to increase the value of any donation that you make.  The donation form includes a Gift Aid declaration, and if you are able to complete this and return it to us we can then claim back the standard rate income tax that you have already paid on the amount of your donation - and this does not cost you a penny!  Indeed, if you have to pay income tax at higher rate and have to complete a tax return, then including the details of donations that you have made under Gift Aid will reduce the amount of higher-rate tax that you have to pay.

Current Progress of the Appeal

The amount raised so far is shown below.  As any fireman would put it, the needle is well off the mark!


Our thanks to everybody who has contributed so far.

The other pages that give more information about this project are as follows:

  • Raising Steam In No. 6, which describes the history of the locomotive and the overhaul that had been started.
  • Overhaul of No. 6, which describes the work that has been done so far to finish this overhaul.

More Information

Other pages provide more information about:

The start of our train services for this year has been deferred until the beginning of August: watch this space for more details.

Meanwhile, why not look at the archive images that we are posting?

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